the beach clean-
TOUR GETS UNDERWAY IN FORTALEZA
What better way is there to open the 2004
Swatch-FIVB World Tour than to play the first tournament
on the golden sands of Brazil, one of the homes of Beach
The north-eastern city of Fortaleza is the proud host of
the opening Swatch-FIVB World Tour event, the $180,000
women’s Open and is a perfect stage to see in the new
season. The capital of the state of Ceara has hundreds
of beautiful beaches adjoining the Atlantic Ocean and
for the two million inhabitants, Beach Volleyball and
the superb mixture of mountainous sand dunes, palm trees
and Atlantic breakers play a big part in their lives.
Fortaleza itself is a sprawling city which has, for well
over a century, been the major commercial centre of the
northern half of the Northeast of Brazil. More recently
it has poured resources into expanding its tourist trade,
lining the fine city beaches with gleaming luxury hotels
and developing the city centre.
means “fortress”, and the first Portuguese settlers
arrived in 1603 and were defeated initially by the
Indians, who killed and ate the first bishop (a
distinction the city shares with Belém), and then by the
Dutch, who drove the Portuguese out of the area in 1637
and built the Forte Schoonenborch. These days, Fortaleza
has something of the same atmosphere as Rio, especially
when it comes to the good things in life.
is the custom in Brazil, once all the hard work during
the day on the beach is finished the nightlife takes
over. There are stretches of delightful bars and
restaurants sprinkled around the city, one in particular
called Praia de Iracema, is particularly attractive. If
the heat of the town gets a little bit much for you then
you may consider an escape to the cool mountains of
Guaramiranga or Beach Park, which has one of the biggest
water parks in South America.
Either way the influence of sport and Beach Volleyball
is strong, making for a perfect stage to launch the 2004
Swatch-FIVB World Tour.